Twitter celebrates five years with numbers—lots of them

As Twitter gets set to celebrate its fifth birthday next week, the social media platform continues its trajectory into the seemingly limitless twittersphere with some record setting numbers reported this week on its blog post titled, of course, #numbers.

For Twitter to reach the 1 billion tweets milestone, it had to wait 3 years, 2 months and 1 day. Now it takes just 1 week to get to that 1 billion. Not bad for a platform its creator and co-founder, Jack Dorsey, says took only eight days of programming to create.

One year ago, the average number of tweets people sent per day was 50 million. In the last month, that number has almost tripled to reach a mighty impressive 140 million tweets per day. 

And last Friday when Japan was shaken to its core, an astonishing 177 million tweets were sent. Not surprisingly, large-scale events like the Japan earthquake are a catalyst for tweeting spikes. When Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009, 456 tweets per second were sent—a record at the time. 

With the increase in tweets comes an increase in Twiiter accounts. On March 12 this year, 572,000 accounts were created, with an average of 460,000 new accounts set up per day last month. 

But there’s only so much tweeting a small team can cope with and in line with the rise of Twitter’s popularity comes a massive growth of employees at Twitter's San Francisco headquarters (the office previously housed fledging social networking site Bebo, which has been dwarfed by its nemeses Facebook). 

In January 2008, Twitter had 8 employees. In January 2009, that jumped to 29 and in January 2010 it had reached 130. Fast forward to January this year and that number more than doubles to reach 350. Rounding it all off with a very fresh number, as of Monday March 14, an extra 50 employees have joined the Twitter ranks bringing the total number to 400.

And while we're on the Twitter buzz, check out Idealog's interview last year with Twitter co-founder Biz Stone HERE. And for a bit of a laugh, check out this mocumentary celebrating Twitter's history (all five years  of it).

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